Subaru has ventured into the Outback. Now it’s about to welcome buyers to the Layback.

    The company has teased an upcoming version of the Levorg – sold here as the WRX Sportswagon – that will wear more rugged design cues and may wear the Levorg Layback name in Japan.

    Reservations are set to open in Japan in September, so a full reveal is imminent.

    “Currently there’s no plans for this model for Australia, as it is currently exclusively for the Japanese market, but we will be keeping a vigilant eye on future developments,” said a spokesperson for Subaru Australia.

    The teaser images are shadowy, but we can make out what appears to be a higher ride height and black plastic cladding, confirming earlier reports out of Japan.

    The vehicle was also recently spied testing in Japan.

    Ground clearance will reportedly be increased from 140mm to 200mm, the same as the Crosstrek.

    Best Car Web reports the new model is expected to be equipped with a 1.8-litre turbo flat-four, which is the standard engine in the Japanese-market Levorg. This produces 130kW and 300Nm.

    It’s unclear whether Subaru will also offer this ruggedised Levorg with the up-level 202kW/375Nm turbocharged 2.4-litre flat-four, the only engine offered in this vehicle locally, to create a more rally-ready wagon.

    This engine is shared with the WRX sedan, though Subaru only offers the option of a manual transmission with the three-box body style and leaves the wagon solely with a continuously variable transmission.

    The WRX sedan and Sportswagon arrived locally in 2022, with the latter replacing the previous Levorg – though it retains that name in Japan.

    The previous Levorg was offered here with a choice of two turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains: a 1.6-litre with 125kW and 250Nm and a 2.0-litre with 197kW and 350Nm.

    Subaru Australia opted not to bring the second-generation wagon here with the new 1.8-litre turbo, instead repositioning it as a more dedicated performance vehicle and bringing it under the WRX umbrella as a spiritual successor to WRX wagons of yore.

    There’s plenty of precedent for a higher-riding WRX Sportswagon. Subaru has been applying cladding to its wagons and giving them higher rides since the 1990s, to the point where the Liberty-derived Outback supplanted its wagon donor entirely.

    MORE: Everything Subaru WRX

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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